It had been quite some time in between race #7 and race #8. My last race was in June in Long Beach at the Pajama Run 5k. The race itself wasn’t well run but that didn’t put a damper on my ability to run the entire thing without walking, a proud moment for myself.
Since then I took some time off, I traveled a bit then came home and began really began to run like I meant it. I took on hills and a weekly running date or two with my sister. I busted my ass and worked hard.
Race #8 came along and, having registered for it some time back, I didn’t realize I signed up for a 10k, rather than a 5k like I usually did. Queue the pre-race jitters! I had started a new training routine of daily jogs in the early morning hours before work and I started using the C25k app on my phone but none of it had prepared for me a 10k. Yes, my running was better and I was getting more running in per week without injury but my short little 2.2 miles a day wasn’t close enough to the necessary 6.2 miles I’d run on Saturday.
Ick. Warm mornings suck. But I was smarter this time. I had learned from the Long Beach race that during the summer, no matter how early the race was, that a running jacket would not be necessary. It’s California, for goodness sakes! Instead of my usually Lululemon jacket, I just ran in a pink tank top.
Evidently, pink was the race color of choice! I blended in with many groups there, expect I wasn’t wearing a tutu. Too bad I left my rainbow one at home. Then I really would have fit in!
Bib pick up was that morning. Usually, pick ups on the day of the race is a bad idea. Too many people show up late causing the whole thing to start late which then pissed off those who were there on time. Not so much here! There were enough volunteers and it was so well organized that there was no waiting time while everyone got on their numbers and in line. Before the gun went off for the 10k racers, there was even a little zumba warm-up. Normally, I’m right up there with the best of them shakin’ it but I was nervous and anxious to get running before it got too hot.
My superstitious nature was kicking in hard-core and all I could do was list all the things I didn’t do: I didn’t eat my normal breakfast, I wasn’t wearing my normal outfit. I was missing my gum. I always run with gum! And I didn’t get to take a picture of me wearing my number.
There was nothing I could do about any of those things before the gun went off so I just set myself at a slower pace and I crossed the start line.
First of all, the trail was marked very clearly with pink ribbons everywhere. There were also bicyclists riding ahead of the pack guiding the way. There was no way anyone would miss their turn. There were signs and water stations to guide us to the finish line. This eased some of my concerns since I realized after 2 miles that this race was part trail.
As we set off into the wild of the trails around the lake, I couldn’t help but look around and admire the beauty of this race. Then I made a mental note to bring my guys back for us to explore it on our own. The trail portions were fun and a bit challenging with some hills and a little creek we needed to cross.
Once I made it around the lake and past 3 miles, I was starting to tire. My pace was somewhere between 5-5.5 mph and I was pleased with this. My body wasn’t aching too bad even though for the majority of the week I had been struggling with a sore right hamstring. But something about getting past 3 miles made me mentally check out and I started to walk a bit in between running for a stretch.
My pace slowed down and the sun was now facing me head-on. Ugh…I still had more than 2 miles to go and I was starting to fade. At the 4 mile marker I was seriously questioning whether the race was actually 6.2 miles or maybe more like 10 miles! How could it feel this long and still only have 2 more miles left?!?!
But there was nothing I could do about it. I did some intervals between walking and running and tried my best to shut my mind off. And it didn’t help that we were running around a lake so every time I turned a corner and didn’t see the finish line, I got more and more frustrated.
It felt like the LONGEST RACE EVER!!!
But I finished. Once I got with a quarter mile, I picked up my feet and sprinted over the finish line.
There was much celebrating going on and lots of people to cheer on the finishers. I was just ready to grab my medal and get myself home to shower.
In the end, I averaged a 12.20 minute pace per mile and finished in 76 minutes. I’m pleased with all of this. I ran the first half (5k) in 36 minutes and the second half in 40. Though I ran my first 10k this year in 68 minutes, I still feel pretty good. Maybe a future goal will be to tackle the 10k distance because I feel that I can now comfortably run a 5k without walking.
On to the next race, a 12k canyon run in Irvine. Yikes….
Thanks to the Girls On The Go organization for putting on a fantastic event. It was well organized, on time and lots of fun. The pictures being posted on Facebook barely capture the true enjoyment of all the participants.